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European Peace Walk: Day 6: Nyarliget, Hungary to Sopronkövesd, Hungary

Meeting My Group, Take Two.

The group of PeaceWalkers

A great group of PeaceWalkers.

Last night I met my group.

Eight people trickle into the guesthouse and based on their ages, nationalities, and cheerful banter I feel that I have met my people.

The oldest is 76, the youngest is 43.  The group is: Rob, originally from South Africa and now living in Australia with his wife Helga, originally from Austria.  And Senya from Canada, And Jerry from England, John, Gary and Martin from Australia, and Martin, originally from Ireland but now living in Australia.  And moi.  Excellent.

All but one in the group has walked the Camino de Santiago which gives us a great feeling of camaraderie right off the bat.  I am relieved and unburdened as we discuss the challenges of the previous five days.  I am not the only one who has struggled.  I am so thankful to be in this good company.

Day 6 of the European Peace Walk

Channeling the power.

Channeling the power.

I wake up to discover that “special time” in every woman’s month has arrived.  Which partially explains my unbelievable fatigue.  I stare at the ceiling fantasizing about lying in bed all day with a gallon of ice cream and hours of disgusting reality shows in a queue, but that is not an option today.  I’ve got to dig deep.

I’ve got to invoke the power of Patrick Swayze.

The group is on the path by 8 AM and I am thrilled to discover that everyone walks at their own pace with leniency for separation.  That works for me.

A stork’s nest is balanced perfectly atop a telephone pole and two storks stand inside.  I do not see any babies in bundles however.  Perhaps it’s their day off.

The landscape changes continuously today which is a delightful change.  Like a rubber band the group stretches apart and then together, walking through several small villages while locals in their Sunday best walk past.  There are more little towns, more houses, and more religious statues today than the previous five days combined.  This breaks the monotony and makes time go much more quickly.  It’s Sunday and it’s a new law in Hungary that all shops must be closed.  Despite this, we are a happy group without complaint.  Except for blisters.  There are lots of those.

Passing homes, it seems everyone has at least a small garden with the basics: tomatoes, lettuce and fruit trees.  I bet a vegan could walk across Hungary without spending a cent, sustaining themselves on plucked fruit the whole way.

European Peace Walk

European Peace Walk

Leaving the fields behind, we walk through a forest and the shade is welcome.  Mushrooms grow on fallen logs.  The way is riddled with puddles and muddy from recent rains, making for a slippery trail.

The clouds are ominously dark, but all bark and no bite.  Just a tiny sprinkle falls.  I’m still dragging but push forward.

I take a break in a park, resting my feet on the bench.  My eyes fall upon a sparkling rock and I am sure I have discovered a rare Hungarian mineral.  I grab it greedily only to discover it’s an ancient wad of tin foil.  Wah-wahh.

After passing more sunflower fields and wind turbines, we arrive at an elementary school in Sopronkövesd, Hungary where community volunteers Judith and Tommy welcome us warmly with handshakes and smiles.  They lead us to the school gymnasium where mattresses are placed on the floor for our bedding.  They do so much to make us feel comfortable and get us situated.  The best welcome yet.

At 5: 30 PM, Zoltan, the mayor of this village comes to greet us and educate us about his community.  He brings fresh figs, ripe and sweet, from his garden. This opportunity to learn about the community is such a treat as so far we have had little opportunity for cultural exchange and we are desperate for it.  Zoltan has the biggest smile I’ve seen in Hungary and talks about his vision for his community and for the European Peace Walk.  It’s hard not to love the mayor and I momentarily fantasize about being the mayor’s wife in a small Hungarian village.  We soon meet his wife which foils all my plans.

The mayor speaks through Judith who interpretes for the group.  We discuss what it means to be a PeaceWalker and again, the issue of the Syrian refugees comes up.  We discuss the tragic irony that we are walking for peace at this time when such a humanitarian crisis is coming to a boil and Hungary builds a fence to keep the refugees out.  It is a tense time.

The mayor takes us to a community restaurant where over drinks and dinner he teaches up to properly toast in Hungarian: “A-ga-shey-gaa-deh!”  I enjoy garlic soup – the best soup I’ve ever had – and cabbage salad – typical Hungarian foods.

It’s a wonderful evening and I am overflowing with gratitude towards the mayor and the community for such a gracious welcoming.  The best day yet.  Thanks to Judith, Tommy, Zoltan, and of course Patrick.

[mappress mapid=”15″]
Distance Walked Today: 22 kilometers (13.6 miles)

European Peace Walk – Day 6 Tips

Note:  This is the best day so far with several small villages along the way.  Shops are closed on Sundays.

Tip: The arrows were good today.  I had little need for the guide book except for reassurance.

Terrain: Flat.  80% dirt.

Accommodation: The cost is 8 euros per person for a mattress in a gymnasium.  Disposable sheets are 1 euro.  A blanket is 1 euro. Showers are available as is laundry service.  Bring earplugs as all snoring is amplified in this space!  Laundry: They will do your laundry for a small charge. Dinner:  There is a restaurant 2 minutes walk away.  We went with the mayor.  Prices are reasonable. Wi-fi: Yes, but slow. Breakfast: Volunteers will bring you to a cafe or a buffet truck will come to you depending on the size of the group.

Thank you to Jenny & Charley Wickman for sponsoring today’s walk and this post.

Photos of Day 6 of the European Peace Walk (click to view):


  1. Another wonderful blog, Laura! What a great adventure you are on, and thank you for taking us along with your fun and eloquent wording of your experiences! Garlic soup sounds sooooo yum!!!!! I LOVE garlic…..I think I’m going to google the recipe!

    Looking foreward to your next blog. You go, Girl!!!!! 🙂

    • Thanks Linda. And yes, find a recipe for garlic soup. Sooo good!

  2. So happy to sponsor today’s walk!! Glad you found a great group, and that the hike today was good. I’m reading every post, looking at your gorgeous pictures, and feel like I’m with you, except I’m sitting in a chair when I am with you!!! YOU GO GIRL!! Hope your good luck continues! Sending you much love!!

    • Thank you so much Jenny! So appreciated!

  3. Whew! Sounds much improved in so many dimensions! Congratulations and may your continued journey be a good one!

    • Thank you! Many dimensions for sure!

  4. So glad you connected with a cohesive group that’s going the distance!

    We saw those stork nests all along the Camino, we never got tired of looking at them and being amazed by their dexterity.

    • Yes, it’s a fun group. I am grateful. I love the stork nests too!

  5. I laughed, I cried, I love this post! Following along on your journey (the good and the bad) has been such a special and fun experience – thank you for sharing and here’s to the next leg!

    • That’s great Mary. It’s fun for me to get your thoughts. Much appreciated!

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